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Dowagers hump can lead to an earlier death, study shows

Posted by in Neck Pain Causes, Neck Pain Essentials |

In a study published in the May 19 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers found that older white women with both vertebral fractures and hyperkyphosis had an elevated risk for earlier death. The finding was independent of other factors that included age and underlying spinal osteoporosis.

Women who had only hyperkyphosis( rounded thoracic spine), without vertebral fractures, did not show an increased risk for premature death.

Hyperkyphosis is caused by habitual poor posture and degenerative diseases of the muscles and intervertebral discs and is further worsened by osteopenia or osteoporosis.

“Just being bent forward may be an important clinical finding that should serve as a trigger to seek medical evaluation for possible spinal osteoporosis, as vertebral fractures more often than not are a silent disease,” said Dr. Deborah Kado, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the study’s primary investigator. “We demonstrated that having this age-related postural change is not a good thing. It could mean you’re likely to die sooner.”

The researchers did the study on 610 women, age 67 to 93, from a cohort of 9,704 participants in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.
Adjusting for age, as well as osteoporosis-related factors such as low bone density, moderate and severe vertebral fractures, and the number of prevalent vertebral fractures, the researchers found that women with previous vertebral fractures and increasing degrees of spinal curvature were at increased mortality risk from the spinal condition, regardless of age, smoking, spinal bone-mineral density, or the number and severity of their spinal fractures.

These study findings provide evidence that it is not just vertebral fracture alone but the associated increased spinal curvature that may be most predictive of adverse health outcomes. Other studies linking hyperkyphosis to poor health, such as impaired physical function, increased fall risk, fractures and mortality, have been unable to exclude the possibility that vertebral fractures alone were the underlying explanation for the findings.

I have written before that dowagers hump is completely avoidable. It is a postural problem that is worsened by ostoporosis. If you have a dowagers hump you need to do therapeutic exercises to avoid worsening your condition and also start adjusting your posture in everything that you do

How is your posture right now?

A dowagers hump cure?